The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Whitney Matthews

Five Finds on Friday: Whitney Matthews

Whitney

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Whitney Matthews of SpiceSea Gourmet, three time finalist for Best Food Truck in Charlottesville. To find her stellar po boys, lobster/shrimp rolls, and more around town, check the monthly calendar on her website and follow along on her Facebook page. Matthews’ picks:

1) Garlicky Greens Kraut from Farmstead Ferments. “I (and my mother) love this kraut. It goes with everything – eggs in the morning, sandwiches for lunch, or straight out of the jar. It’s always crisp and full of flavor. There is always a jar in my refrigerator.”

2) Canelés from MarieBette. “This is my extra special treat. Canelés are not a typical pastry to find, but MarieBette always has them and they are always delicious. Biting through the thick caramelized crust into the custard center is my favorite part.”

3) Cabernet Franc Reserve from Montifalco Vineyard. “This wine is wonderful. Not too heavy, lovely mouth feel, and pairs great with a steak. One of my favorite wines from the region. Also, the atmosphere at Montifalco is perect – welcoming, calming, small, and charming. The owners take special care to make sure each guest has an exceptional experience. They also bring in wines from around the world to add to their tasting flights. A great, small batch winery.”

4) Classic Tomato Sauce from Nona’s Italian Cucina. “Such a versatile sauce. I’ve used it for classic pasta dishes, baked with zucchini and mozzarella, and as a dip for baguettes. I always imagine a little Italian nona standing over a stove stirring her pot when I open a bottle. I love that you can taste the garlic and parsley shining through the tomato. The wife and husband team are frequently at the City Market and they take the time to give samples and talk about the sauce.”

5) Fried Chicken Paffle from Iron Paffles & Coffee. “First, all the sandwiches from Iron are amazing, but there’s something about the crunch of the chicken that keeps me coming back. You can build your own chicken paffle to fit what you desire – pepper jack cheese, aioli, and arugula for me. Also, their Instagram page is great. All those beautiful pictures of specials and desserts. It’s mouthwatering.”

paffle

Introducing Spice Sea Gourmet

shrimp

One of the many conveniences of food trucks is that they allow owners to relocate food business with ease – whether down the street, across town, or to event venues.  How about across the country?  Spice Sea Gourmet, a popular and award-winning food truck, has just moved to Charlottesville all the way from San Antonio, Texas.  Advantage: Charlottesville.

Chef Whitney Matthews is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and it shows.  In February, readers of San Antonio Magazine said that her truck serves the Best Seafood in all of San Antonio.  The seafood-dominated menu veers towards the South, with items like Virginia crabcake salad, a catfish po boy, and, Matthews’ personal favorite, the shrimp po’ boy.   A hoagie roll spread with spicy mayo cushions fried shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, and cabbage slaw.  It is stellar — and would go great with a cold beer.  (Paging Hunter.)

Sure is a good thing Matthews decided to return to her native Virginia.  Follow her truck’s Facebook page for locations and times.